Venice Overview

Parking in Venice: You should reserve a parking space in the parking garage online in advance. Especially now at Corona time many people come to Venice by car. There is a great website for reserving parking spaces: Click Here

Insider tip:
Travel comfortably without queues, buy tickets online beforehand:


Venice Orientation and Overview

The city of Venice lies on the northern Adriatic coast of Italy. One part of the city is on islands, another part on the mainland. The main island is the actual city of Venice.

Our tip: Buy tickets for waterbuses beforehand

It is not always easy to buy tickets abroad. You don't know where to buy tickets, foreign ticket machines are difficult to use, there are language problems, queues, etc.

The 1, 2 or 3 day valid tickets for the waterbuses (ferries) in Venice are needed by almost every tourist. These tickets can now be bought on this english website.

The tickets for the bus from Venice airport to the city are available on this page in English language.

This island is connected to the mainland by a bridge almost four kilometres long. The bridge for the railway was completed in 1846, and the car bridge was built between 1931 and 1933. The two bridges are so close to each other that it looks like one bridge. Today the railway bridge to Venice has four tracks, the motorway bridge four lanes. The new tram has been using this bridge now for several years. The bridge bears the beautiful name Ponte della Liberta (Freedom Bridge)..

Today, Venice has a total population of 270,000 and an area of 414 square kilometres. About 60,000 live on the actual island Venice (Centro Storico) and 30,000 on other islands. The majority of the population of Venice now lives on the mainland, unlike in the past.

Map of Venice with mainland and islands

Brief overview of means of transport

The main airport is on the mainland, just 10 km north of Venice (see Marco Polo Airport). Another smaller airport is Venice Treviso. It is often used by cheap airlines like Ryanair. The third airport on the island of Lido near Venice is the oldest airport in the Venice region. Today the private planes of the rich, hobby pilots and so on land here. Normal passenger flights to Lido no longer exist (info from 2018).

Venice is easy to reach by train. Virtually all trains to Venice first stop on the mainland at Mestre Central Station. Then they continue over the bridge to the main island and end at Santa Lucia sack train station. Venice is one of the very few large cities in Europe where more people travel by train than by car. The car is quite useless on the main island of Venice due to the lack of roads, parking is expensive.

More information about public transportation in Venice can be found on this page.

Division of Venice into districts and urban districts

The most important part of the city is the main island of Venice, also known as Centro Storico (Historic Centre). It is the actual Venice with almost all the top sights of Venice. The number of inhabitants on the island Centro Storico decreased in the last years, the number of tourists, restaurants and hotels increased. Many people also moved to the mainland because of the high prices and the more and more frequent floods. The resident population on the island has a high average age, especially younger people do not want to live directly in Venice anymore. They prefer to commute from the mainland to the main island Centro Storico. A lot of people work in tourism on the old town island. Currently, the actual island Venice has only 60,000 inhabitants and the population continues to decrease. The old town of Venice is big. The island Centro Storico has an area of about 5 kmē. Some parts of the city are more than an hour's walk away from each other.

The Centro Storico is divided into six districts. These are San Marco, Cannaregio, San Polo, Santa Croce, Dorsodur and Castello. In the individual districts, the addresses are not indicated primarily with street names. The houses are simply numbered. However, the street name is often given in addition. In Italian, the districts of the main island of Venice are called Sestieri (singular: Sestiere).

The majority of the inhabitants of Venice now live in the mainland districts. Mestre and Marghera, for example, are well known.

Some islands of Venice

Beside the above mentioned island Centro Storico, at least 100 more islands belong to the city of Venice.

One famous and large island is Murano. It has almost 5.000 inhabitants and is often visited by tourists during day trips with one of the many ferries from Venice (water buses). The glass art and glassblowers of Murano are world famous. This is why the island is also called the island of glass.

The densely populated island of Burano with almost 3000 permanent residents is also popular. This island also lives from tourism. Burano is known for its lace knitting (Burano lace). Not much less famous are the colourful buildings of Burano (see picture).

Another big island is Lido (official name Lido di Venezia). The island of Lido is 11 km long, but very narrow. In total Lido has only 4 kmē. With these figures you can calculate that Lido is on average only about 360 meters wide.

South of Lido is the elongated island of Pellestrina with about 4,500 inhabitants. Pellestrina is very popular with tourists who travel by bike. The inhabitants live mainly from tourism and shellfishing. But on Pellestrina there are far fewer tourists than for example on the old town island Centro Storico.

To the north lies the lagoon island of Sant Erasmo. Even fewer tourists come here. On Sant Erasmo many vegetables were cultivated. Famous are the artichokes and the asparagus. You can buy the vegetables for example at the market of Rialto in the centre of the old town. Sant Erasmo is with an area of more than 3 kmē the biggest of the outer islands of Venice (lagoon islands).

Many visitors from abroad visit the interesting island of San Michele between the old town and Murano. On San Michele there is above all a big cemetery worth seeing. That's why the island is called "cemetery island".

There are over 100 other islands. Many are inhabited. Some are only accessible by ferry, others are connected by bridges with other islands of Venice or with the mainland.

Our tip: buy tickets for the airport bus in advance

You can save yourself the search for the ticket counter, the problems with the foreign language and the often long queues by buying the tickets for the airport bus at home before the trip to Venice on the Internet. This costs just as much (8 Euro one way, 15 Euro return ticket). With the internet tickets, you are not bound to a certain bus, the tickets can be cancelled free of charge until one day before the trip. The buses to Venice and Mestre run several times an hour during the day. In Venice and in English, the buses to and from the airport in Venice are called "Airport Shuttle Bus".

>>> Here you can buy tickets from the airport to Venice

>>> Here you can buy tickets airport to Mestre

>>> Here you can buy tickets from the smaller Treviso airport to Venice

Our city map (sights and much more)

Enlarge this map

Important: This article was translated by a non-native English speaking person. We apologize for mistakes.

  Deutsche Version
Overview Venice
Map Venice
Guided Tours_Venice
Where to go Venice
Overtourism Venice
Venice Airport
Parking Venice
   Car Park Comunale
Centro Storico
Trips Lagoon Venice
Car Venice
Airport Bus Venice
Airport Ferries Venice
Bus Treviso Airport
Public transport Venice
Tickets Venice
Water Bus Venice
Water Bus Lines
  Waterbus Line 1
  Waterbus Line 2
  Waterbus Line 4.1.
  Waterbus Line 12
  Waterbus Line 14
Water Taxi Venice
Bus Station Venice
Tram Venice
People Mover
Gondola Ride Venice
Beaches Venice
Campsites Venice
Climate Venice
Opening Hours Venice
Accommodation Venice
Churches Venice
Museums Venice
Money Venice
Prices Venice
Floods Venice
Bridges Venice
Ships Venice
Venice on foot
Figures Venice
Fast Food Venice
Train Station Venice
Train Station Mestre
Punta Sabbioni
San Marco
San Polo
Sights Venice
Doge's Palace
Bridge of Sighs
St Mark's Square
St Mark's Basilica
St Mark's Campanile
Museum Correr
Canal Grande Venice
Rialto Bridge
Rialto Market
Campo San Polo
Campo Santa Margherita
Accademia Venice
Guggenheim Collection
Libreria Acqua Alta
Teatro La Fenice
Scuola San Rocco
Arsenal Venice
Ghetto Venice
Frari Church
Da Vinci Museum
Scala del Bovolo
Ca Pesaro Museum
Natural History Museum
Music Museum Venice
Gondola Workshop
Sant Elena
Hard Rock Cafe Venice
Islands Venice
Island Murano
  Murano Glass
  Murano Glass Museum
  Water Bus Murano
Island Burano
  Lace Museum Burano
  Water Bus Burano
Island Mazzorbo
Island Torcello
  Water Bus Torcello
San Michele
Island Lido
  Sights Lido
  Lido Beach
  Malamocco Lido
  Alberoni Lido
  Water Bus Lido
Island Pellestrina
Island Giudecca
Island San Giorgio Maggiore
Island Sant Erasmo
Island Vignole
Nave de Vero
Porte di Mestre
Around Venice
Lido di Jesolo
  Tropicarium Pak
  Wheel of Venice
  Cavallino Beach
Rosolina Mare
Trip Verona
Day Trip Padua
Sights Italy
Vienna Guide
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